The number and types of companies that have embraced stand-up pouches grow week by week. Considering that this type of packaging can be customized in several ways to add convenience features and safety designs, they’re the optimal solution to package and protect a wide range of products.
If you’re thinking about using stand-up barrier pouches to package your product, here are some of the most common uses and customization options available.
Uses for Stand-up Barrier Pouches
There are three main uses for stand-up pouches, and from thereon they can be used in a variety of applications.
Liquids or Foods with Moisture Content
This is where it all began; stand-up pouches were initially used to hold kids’ juice. They could be hermetically sealed and sterilized, they were lightweight compared to the bottles used to package juice, they took up less space than juice bottles when they were filled and cartoned and the materials used to construct the pouched were tested and deemed to be safe for holding consumables. Over time, the list of products in this category that could be safely packaged has continually expanded with current examples including sauces, fish and other seafood products and even ice cream. Current packaging technology and the wide range of films available results in performance tailored, multi-layer constructions that ensure the packaged product will retain the moisture content the brand owner wants the consumer to enjoy.
Snacks and Other Dry Foods
Not long after the initial application for fruit juice, food companies began to realize the benefits of stand-up pouches for a broader range of food applications, e.g., snack foods, dehydrated fruits, nuts and candy among others. Consumers were happy with the expanded applications because of the convenience factors and brand owners were happy with the cost-effective solution a stand-up pouch represented while being able to stand out among its competitors on the shelf.
Because of their versatile design, protective properties and cost-effectiveness, brand owners well outside of the consumable arena are packaging more and more products in stand-up pouches. The list is long and varied, ranging from lawn and garden chemicals, motor oil, alcoholic beverages and laundry supplies.
Applications of Stand-up Barrier Pouches
The nature of the product and the highly competitive battle on the shelf are reasons that food and snack manufacturers are choosing to package their products in stand-up pouches. The protection flexible packaging delivers in conjunction with the convenience features and ability to present eye-catching graphics have long been recognized by brand owners. Some of the more common applications of stand-up pouches you’ll see at your local supermarket include the following.
Tea and Coffee
Indie tea and coffee brands understand that stand-up, high barrier pouches are a cost-effective way to package their products while protecting the product while on the shelf. This is achieved by selecting films to produce a high moisture barrier and heat sealing the perimeter to create a hermetic seal, preserving freshness and aroma.
Dry pet food and treats, especially the premium brands, are almost without exception packaged in recloseable high barrier bags or stand-up pouches. It is critical to protect the dry food or treats from moisture migrating through the packaging material and brand owners realize that there is not a better solution than high barrier flexible packaging to both protect and promote their brand. In addition, the nature of the product means that the pet owner will be repeatedly accessing the contents and the ability of packaging manufacturers to add a variation of closures significantly raises the convenience factor.
Although the classic Heinz bottle of ketchup may be how you think of a condiment, don’t forget the role high barrier flexible packaging plays in the fast food world. The little squeeze packages of ketchup that are ubiquitous in burger joints are a high-tech solution to the challenge of “having it your way”. The ability of each customer to be able to put just the “right” amount of ketchup on their burger 100% compliments the fast food chains desire to make every customer happy with their meal every time. From a beginning of just ketchup in squeeze packs, now it is common to find an array of condiment options, including mustard, relish, mayo and hot sauce among others.
Customizing a Stand-up Barrier Pouch
Consumers and brand owners alike appreciate the protective properties and associated benefits that a well-made stand-up pouch can deliver, or for that matter, any bag or pouch made from high barrier flexible packaging. The basic structure also allows for a list of value-added design options that continue to grow in popularity with consumers. These include:
The “custom” in custom stand-up pouches doesn’t mean just graphics. The specific materials laminated together by the manufacturer are designed to deliver specific benefits and properties such as a very long shelf life, a matte finish, a lighter weight, a crystal-clear window in the design, etc., Depending upon a brand owner’s requirements, a custom manufacturer has a broad range of different types of films available to produce the finished material to preserve, protect and showcase each customers’ products.
Tear Notch & Hang Hole
A tear notch, used to make opening a bag easy, can be added to the design of any bag. It is comprised of two punch outs on opposite sides of the bag at the top that indicate to the consumer where to initially open the bag by tearing across the top. A hang hole can be cut out of the material across the top of a bag in the area called the header. The hole is centered on the top and is created at the request of the brand owner when the bag is going to be displayed hanging on a hook or a rack. The hang hole is not usually used in conjunction with a stand-up pouch design; it is much more common on flat bags.
Arguably the most popular convenience feature on a stand-up pouch is a zipper or other closure system that give the consumer the ability to open and then reseal the pouch multiple times. The standard type of zipper used is known as a press-to-close style, comprised of two matching tracks applied to opposite sides within the pouch. To close the package, the zipper tracks need to be aligned and then pressed together. A recently developed alternative is a system using mini hooks and loops, kind of like Velcro. Two strips are applied to opposite sides inside the top of the pouch and then simple pressure is used to secure them together and close the package. A benefit is that there are no tracks and therefore no are for crumbs or powdered product to collect and cause difficulty closing.
These are some of the uses, applications and customization options for stand-up barrier pouches, one of most versatile packaging options available to brand owners today.